Tag Archives: Peyton manning

Why Peyton Manning Should Be A Baltimore Raven

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So Peyton Manning has narrowed his choices for his new home to two teams it seems.

The Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans are in the final leg of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes jockeying for position to land one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history. Landing Manning would make either team a playoff contender and would make them an attractive destination for free agents to come to.

However, you can’t say that if Manning becomes a Titan or a Bronco that they would be a Super Bowl contender. Both teams have defensive deficiencies that would prevent them from going farther than where they could go.

What is shocking is that there is one team out there that has all of the pieces in place on offense an defense that would make them extremely attractive to Manning and would ensure him a shot at an elusive second title.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the Baltimore Ravens.

Yeah, they drafted Joe Flacco to be the QB of the future but let’s not kid ourselves about him. Flacco is not and probably will not be an elite QB. Flacco is not even in the tier of QB’s that are next in line to be great.

He’s not Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton or Cam Newton. Flacco is another in the long line of game managers under center that have worn a Ravens uniform in its short history.

Yes I know he’s won playoff games and almost went to two Super Bowl’s in his first four seasons, however even in this year’s playoffs it was clear that Flacco was just there to make sure he wasn’t trying to blow it for the Ravens defense.

Look at the Ravens-Texans matchup in round two this year. The Ravens almost lost to T.J. Yates in his fifth career start even though he threw three picks which allowed the Ravens to score 17 early points.

Flacco was sacked five times, was unable to move the ball on a long field, couldn’t gain a third down and often looked inept under center.

And this is your franchise QB?

The Ravens have lived and died by their defense ever since they drafted Ray Lewis. It has been a championship caliber defense that has only one ring to show for its effort and has only a handful of playoff appearances. The reason? Trent Dilfer, Anthony Carter, Elvis Grbac, Kyle Boller, Joe Flacco and a cast of other subpar QB’s.

The window for the Ravens to win another title is closing. In order to win another ring they need a better QB.

So why not go after Manning? And if you’re Manning why wouldn’t you play in Baltimore?

Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are better than anything Denver and Tennessee has to offer in your arsenal.

Plus this would be the first time in Manning’s career that he has a defense that wouldn’t put more pressure on him to do too much. For years the Colts defense was either too banged up or too weak to support the offense in Indianapolis and that prevented the Colts from being more successful than what they could’ve been.

In Baltimore he wouldn’t have to worry about having to score time after time. Not with Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata make life miserable for other offenses.

This would be a perfect marriage. The Ravens and Manning want another ring. Lewis and Manning are in the twilight of their careers but have more than enough left in their tanks to make another run. The arrival of Manning would make Baltimore the favorites to win it all.

Yet Baltimore is content with Flacco under center and Manning hasn’t given them a look.

As Manning narrows his choices and comes close to a decision I think he’s missing out on a huge opportunity in Baltimore as are the Ravens by not inquiring about him.

If they were both serious about winning another title then Baltimore would trade Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning would sign on to wear the purple and black.

It’s right in front of their eyes, I just wish that they would see it how I see it.

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The Ultimate Tim Tebow Breakdown

Tebow just keeps on winning.

In hip-hop culture one of the first things that is embedded in your brain is that haters never prosper. No one likes a hater, haters are despised. Hating on the status and appearance of others is a sin in the bible of hip-hop, and if you are marked as a hater it tarnishes your reputation wherever you go and with whatever you do.

The problem with that is that there is a long standing tradition in hip-hop of what’s known as keeping it real. Being real with yourself and your feelings at all times is a must and most rappers and followers of the culture try their best to follow  suit without looking like fools… or haters.

Rapper Common said it best in his song “The 6th Sense,” “if I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hating.” Sometimes the lines of keeping it real and being a hater are so paper thin that the wrong interpretation of a topic can lead you in either direction. There’s no such thing as debatable arguments in hip-hop either you’re a hater or you’re not. When you say what’s on your mind at all times you risk crossing that line of hater/ truth teller and leave yourself open to criticism.

With that in mind, I present to you Tim Tebow.

I’m sick of Tim Tebow. I think Tim Tebow is one of the worst NFL QB’s that has ever graced the planes of any stadium. He’s the most overrated, overhyped player in my lifetime that gets too much attention, gets too many passes for being mediocre and is a product of a machine that wants to make him the next big thing even though Stevie Wonder can see that he isn’t a good QB…

But he wins games.

I've been sick of Tebow since he was at Florida.

And that right there is the most frustrating part about any argument that has ever involved in Tebow, he just wins.

Scouts know that he’s bad, his own coach John Fox came out this week and said his team would be “screwed” if they ran a regular offense. But somehow in this shotgun option style offense (keep in mind the option is a college based offense that has never worked until this month somehow) Tebow has a better record than Josh Freeman, Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Mike Vick, Philip Rivers and Cam Newton.

But if you were starting an NFL franchise and needed a QB and those were the guys available, Tebow would be the last guy taken right? This is why every Tebow result is so frustrating for anyone to argue.

Take last night’s game for example. Tebow before the last drive had 68 passing yards and was 6-15 for the game. He consistently overthrew receivers, took too long with his decisions and couldn’t lead a lobster into a pot of boiling water… then all of a sudden he leads the Broncos on a 95 yard game-winning drive where he scampers into the end zone on a 20 yard touchdown and beats the Jets. His finishing line was 9-20, 108 yards, 68 yards rushing and a TD. Those are not good stats… but he won.

So now when you’re on Twitter, and watching ESPN and listening to First Take with the biggest Tebow slopper of them all Skip Bayless you have to sit back and take all of the Tebow loving because he won again, even though 95% of the league would take Kyle Orton as a starting QB over Tebow.

There are so many reasons as to why I loathe the topic of Tim Tebow and it’s a combination of football, perception and media hype.

First off is the football aspect. To me Tim Tebow gets way too much credit for his passion, and leadership ability. Yeah he wins, but it aint all him by any means. At Florida the defense lead by Brandon Spikes deserved a lot of credit for shutting down SEC offenses and putting fear in to most QB’s eyes. Yet all you saw was Tebow’s manic behavior of screaming at his teammates, running into huddles and jumping up and down waving his arms in the air and urging the crowd behind to get fired up.

The guy next to Tebow is the better QB.

It’s as if Tebow was the measuring stick for every QB at the time in college football. So leadership is based on hollering and screaming until your face is red. I don’t think that works for most leaders, ask John Wooden who was a stoic, calm figure that was a bigger winner than Tebow ever will be. Too far back? How about the QB that came before him Chris Leak?

Leak was just as talented and as good of a leader as Tebow was but never gets any credit for his skill. People always say that Tebow led Florida to two national championships at Florida… um, he was a part of two titles, Leak led Florida to the first one, Tebow just did a jump pass or two. Yet there is never discussion of how Leak led Florida to the beginning of the SEC’s dominant national title run, never talk of how he overcame massive pressure from Florida fans and the media to win offensive MVP against Ohio State in the 2007 title game, it all goes back to Tebow.

As a football fan what incenses me is how Tebow has gotten to the NFL and stayed while just as accomplished QB’s who have won just has much weren’t even given a chance to make it as quarterbacks. I loved Pat White at West Virginia, he ran a similar offense at WVU as Tebow did at Florida but was more accurate, had a better arm and better skills as a QB. But when it came time to get to the league he was only a ‘wildcat” QB and wasn’t given a proper chance to show his skill and is now out of the league.

I think you know where this leads to now when I just name dropped two accomplished black QB’s as opposed to a white one. If you don’t think race has anything to do with this than you need to find Jesus (and no his name isn’t Tebow though some Broncos would like to think differently).

Tim Tebow is the all-American, boy next door, wholesome kid that people have been waiting on for years. I’m not knocking Tebow on his faith, his way of life or him as a person; I’m sure that he’s a great person to meet and talk to and get to know. But it’s as if Tebow is the only religious, god fearing, humble guy on the planet.

There was never talk of how religious A.C. Green was during his time in the NBA. Green was a devout Christian who was notorious for being a virgin long into his NBA career and in his 30’s. We never celebrated him in the way we do Tebow now. Or how about Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers? Polamalu is a great family man who his very religious, hell two weeks ago the guy got fined by the NFL for calling his wife on the sidelines to let her know that he was ok after getting a concussion because he knew she was worried about him.

In case you were wondering he led Florida to the title 5 years ago, not Tebow.

But we don’t celebrate their pledge to being great family men and close with God. To the eye Tim Tebow is God. Tebow and his faith and the way he is constantly gets shoved into our face as if to say that we should be like Tebow. Unfortunately Tebow’s style of religious behavior isn’t for everyone. Some, such as myself, like to keep our faith to ourselves and be mindful of others as to not offend them. There is Lenten passage that we read every year at my church from Matthew 6:5:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

In other words let Tebow be boastful of his faith, the rest of us will do it in our own corners. Lots of pro athletes are super religious and follow their faith to the full extent of the word of God. However, it’s not all out to be put on display for the world to see and they like it like that. Todd Heap is a former Baltimore Raven and a Mormon and he is a strict Mormon. I waited on the guy several times during my days of waiting tables at PF Changs he doesn’t drink, is faithful to his wife and is a good guy. However, you never hear anything from him about his faith because that’s how he chooses to be.

Truth is that we should probably live more like Tebow, but there is this thing called free will where we want to live how we want to. That’s life, we have different opinions of how things should be done and for a lot of us, myself included Tebow’s way aint for me.

But to be fair to Tebow this isn’t exactly all of his doing. There was a point in college where me and some buddies invented the “Tebow Drinking Game,” it goes like this: watch College Gameday or a Florida game and whenever anyone says Tebow or Jesus, drink (how catholic of me I know). Let’s just say we got drunk long before Lee Corso put on the head gear or Florida started the second half.

More than anything the Media is the reason that Tebow is as big of a machine as he is. ESPN, writers, corporate America push this guy on us so much that after a while you can’t help but either love or hate the guy.

Why do you think Broncos fans were booing Kyle Orton so badly even though the misfortunes of their franchise weren’t his fault? Orton got such a raw deal in all of this because truthfully Orton is the best QB on that team. He’s more accurate, better at handling an offense and it shows in the numbers. However, once Tebow got into the last three games of last year it was over. Tebow wasn’t impressive at all except for in spurts but Broncos fans caught Gator fever and soon began calling his name and the media followed.

During the preseason there were more media members at Tebow’s locker than at Orton’s and Orton was named the starter. Fans cheered every move Tebow made and became driven to make him their QB. Fans were planning on buying a billboard urging Coach John Fox to bench Orton and start Tebow. Thanks ESPN thanks a lot.

Tebow is a flavor of the month that has last 6 years and now has endorsements. The guy appeared in three games last year and before the season started had a Nike deal and a Jockey contract, really?

Even sponsors love Tim Tebow.

This is just how it goes, advertisers and media members find someone to gravitate towards and when they find him they put him on a pedestal and when they do they shove him down your throat until you can’t take it and begin to make fun of him.

They did it with Peyton Manning awhile ago. There wasn’t a time where you could turn on your TV and not see Manning at any time of the day. He was in every commercial possible selling TV’s, phones, Direct TV, anything. The difference between Manning and Tebow is that Manning has that charisma for it all so seeing him so much didn’t really matter because he was a cool guy. With Tebow there has been a history of hearing about him so much that even though we don’t see him as much as Manning when we do its nauseating.

A month ago against the Lions a Denver newspaper billed the game as Good vs. Evil, guess who was the good? Afterwards Ndamukong Suh said tongue in cheek “evil won.” That’s why people hate Tebow. The city of Detroit has gone through more hardship than any other city in the U.S., the Lions are good once again and a great story to rally around, but they play Tebow its good vs. Evil… gimme a break.

I think that is where my disdain for Tebow mostly comes from. The media has built him up so much that his personality and the way that he is has overshadowed one very important thing when it comes to his actual job on the field…

HE’S A TERRIBLE QUARTERBACK!!!

Never mind that the guy is completing less than 50% of his passes, never mind that he can’t run a professional offense and that his coach has owned up to that, never mind that the reason that Denver is back in the AFC West race is because of a rejuvenated defense led by Von Miller who owned that Jets game last night, never mind all of that, it’s all about the good of Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow can get away with going 2-8 in an NFL and winning, he can get away with getting hammered 45-10 by a much better team in the Lions, he will get a pass from Bayless because he doesn’t have the proper weapons around him to throw the ball or hasn’t been given a chance to show his stuff. Pat White wasn’t given a chance, Jimmy Clausen didn’t have any weapons around him last year, we’ve seen Tebow for 8 games in full action and he is trash.

Mechanically he is a mess. He looks uncomfortable in the pocket, can’t run plays properly, takes too long on his delivery and is pathetically inaccurate…

But… he… wins… football… games.

As bad as he is Tebow has that clutch gene. We can say the Miami win was given to him because Miami played prevent defense in the last 5 minutes, but he won. We can say that Kansas City isn’t fully healthy and didn’t have the guys on the field they needed to win, but he won. We can say the Jets are trash (which, they really are and there might be some need to reconsider Mark Sanchez as an NFL QB), but he won.

After last night who would you rather have as your QB?

So until he losses and losses consistently we will have to hear about him more than Cam Newton who is having an amazing season or Andy Dalton who has exceeded all expectations of him or Christian Ponder who looks like the real deal at QB because Tim Tebow is winning more than all of them.

Ever since Tebow was inserted as the Denver Broncos starting QB they have gone from a 1-4 lottery team to a 5-5 team with a shot at winning the AFC West and making the playoffs. Most of the credit should go to the defense or the running game but instead it falls into the hands of Tim Tebow. If they make the playoffs the credit will go to Tebow even though we know he is the lowest rated QB in the league that cant complete a pass.

But he’s a winner and that stat shines brighter than any other on his resume.

Being a hater and keeping it real is a hard line to toe, with Tim Tebow the line is microscopic.

I hate the Tebow coverage, I hate the Tebow machine, I hate the fact that I’ll have to hear about him for a few more weeks, I hate the fact that he’s a bad QB that somehow wins games. But I cant hate the guy for being who he is and getting the job done on the field. I can’t be any more real than that.


Random Thoughts, Vol. 4

BYE BOSTON!!!

Guess what time it is… this random thoughts should be fun.

The Red Sox blew it… hahahahaahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahaahahahah

So did Atlanta (on behalf of my buddy Brian Scully who’s a huge Phillies fan… hahahahaahahahahaahhaahahahaahahahahaha)

Two SEC teams atop the NCAA rankings… shocker

The Philadelphia Eagles are 1-3… hahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahah

(side note: I know I’m putting lots of bad karma on my side by making fun of my enemies but I don’t care because this is funny. Also a message to Steve Smith, how’s Philly treating you :-P?)

Matt Moore, Josh Collmenter, Ivan Nova and Max Sherzer are all rookies that have won playoff baseball games… Cliff Lee, Zach Greinke, and C.C. Sabathia haven’t, um….

Ohio Staters Dan Herron and Devier Posey were suspended for benefits… again… please fire Gene Smith I’m begging you.

Texas A&M has led their last two games by a combined 55-20 at the half, and lost both of them.

Jordan Jefferson wants his job back at LSU… Les Miles would be stupid to say anything other than kick rocks.

Tony Romo blew a fourth quarter lead in week 1, led the Cowboys to overtime win with a punctured lung in week 2, seemed like the only competent Cowboy in week 3, then threw away week 4… at this rate Jerry Jones will be in ICU by week 9 from all of these heart attacks.

Mark Sanchez is trash…

It hasnt been a good year in Indy

… so is his offensive line.

You think the Seahawks should’ve resigned Matt Hasselbeck?

The one team that can beat Boise State is Fresno State… the game’s in Fresno… I’ll be nervous all Friday night.

Albert Pujols better not leave St. Louis…

… same for Prince Fielder in Milwaukee

(think about it for a second, why go somewhere else to play for more money when, if your Pujols, you can stay in St. Louis and be greater than Stan Musial, or if you’re Prince, stay in Milwaukee and be the ring leader of the most fun clubhouse and atmosphere in baseball? They should both learn from Carl Crawford who took more money to play in Boston and had a miserable season there when he wanted to play for the Angels. Money isn’t everything, you have to enjoy where you play and I don’t see how Boston, New York, Washington, L.A., or anywhere can compare for either of these cats.)

Ryan Roberts has too many tattoos.

Why doesn’t the Big Ten add Toledo? They’re much better than Indiana.

Missouri in the SEC? TCU in the Big East? When did NCAA realignment become like the NFL?

All of these passing yards in the NFL are nice, wait until it gets cold and you have to run the ball more and we’ll really see who the best team in the NFL is.

Is it wrong that every time I see Calvin Johnson I do the Transformers transforming noise?

Donovan… it’s over.

South Carolina had to change their uni’s because the referee couldn’t make out the numbers because the camouflage blended in with the black… Under Armour is really failing at trying to be Nike.

Speaking of South Carolina, Steve Spurrier and Stephen Garcia = George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin?

Can't wait for Saturday.

David Stern is starting to cancel games… uh oh.

When did Jesse Palmer get so much clout on ESPN?

The Rangers demoted Sean Avery to the minors, so now what do we do with these Armani vanity glasses?

Rex Grossman has a better record than Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick and Matt Ryan… I need a drink.

The Colts are really bad without Peyton Manning.

(I always knew Manning was important to the Colts success, I just didn’t know he meant this much. I mean this team could beat Purdue. The fact that Manning means this much to the Colts is a mix of crazy and sad. Think about when Tom Brady went down with a torn ACL, the Pats went 11-5! Bill Belichick just plugged Matt Cassel in there and the Pats still won games. The Colts tried with Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins and it doesn’t matter it’s just not the same. If this doesn’t prove that Manning is the most important player in the league to his team then I don’t know what will.)

If Serena has one more unwarranted blowup I’m done.

Red river is this Saturday… I’ll be looking at the sidelines more than the game. Texas and Oklahoma girls… yessir!!!

You do realize that the Yankees threw the last game of the season so the Red Sox wouldn’t make it right?

Even still, that was the greatest ending to the regular season ever.

(how great was that ending? I couldn’t stop watching the Yanks-Rays or Sox-O’s at the same time. The single fact that Red Sox lost in the manner that they lost was pure poetry. To go 7-19 in September and have a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th on the last day of the season only to watch Jonathan Papelbon be as sketchy as ever as he gave it away to the last place team in the division and three minutes later watch Evan Longoria line a fastball over the left field wall to clinch a berth for the Rays was movie magic. You couldn’t ask for a better script or a better ending. The best Yankees loss ever: Red Sox lost the game, the Wild Card, Terry Francona wasn’t brought back as manager and Theo Epstein might skip town too. All I need is David Ortiz on steroids and it’ll be perfect… wait a minute.)

Last one: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Thomas Eberle might be the next Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier.

Crazy? Yes. But damn they look good already.

So happy hockey’s back.


Enjoy The NFL Season, Because I Won’t

It's going to be a long season for my Giants.

So football’s back… woo-hoo!!! But I don’t care really.

Yeah I’m bitter about my Giants I can’t lie, that’s what happens when you have your top defensive end act salty over not getting a new deal, you lose half of your team to injury in the preseason (its and exaggeration but losing 3 DB’s including your best one Terrell Thomas, your starting middle linebacker, his backup is not fun) and your division rival just bought half of the NFL including your best receiver. Also the fact that your GM just stood there and did nothing about any of this. Not that I’m salty or anything.

The Eagles offseason has put them ahead of the pack as the team to beat in the NFC and the NFL as well. Their acquisitions including Nmandi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Ronnie Brown and Jason Babin help to strengthen a team that won 10 games last year and could have them in prime position to knock over the defending champion Packers.

What you may have forgotten about the Packers is that they won the title last year with a depleted unit as well. starting running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley as well as several others suffered season ending injuries early in season and jeopardized the Packers playoff chances. Aaron Rodgers suffered two concussion last year as well and misses a game due to his injury. Yet they overcame those injuries to steamroll their way to the playoffs and eventually a Super Bowl crown. Now with everyone back healthy how can they not be primed for a second straight run?

That last paragraph gives me hope for the Giants but not really. Especially when the team that we share a stadium with is getting all of the buzz in the city of New York. Whether its Rex Ryan’s mouth, Mark Sanchez on GQ, or obtaining Plaxico Buress the Jets have remained the talk of football in New York and with good reasoning. The Jets have made two straight AFC title games under Ryan and are on the cusp of finally making it to Super Bowl this year… that is if they can’t beat the Patriots.

Nmandi Asomugha was one of Philly's many big splashes.

The Patriots did some retooling themselves after their 28-21 loss to the Jets in the playoffs this past January. They rescued Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth from poor situations in Cincinnati and Washington and Bill Belichick is working them into his system and despite some early concerns about their inability to learn the schemes you know both will be ready and that the Patriots, and Tom Brady will be in line at the top of the heap of the AFC.

So who else has a shot at Super Bowl 46 this year? who’s going to be fun to watch? Who’s not worth our time and who is dead in the water?… well I think I just named the basis for my blog today now didn’t I?

AFC

DON’T EVEN BOTHER WATCHING

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton and AJ Green could hook up to be a great combo in this league… just not this year. Dalton has targets in Green, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Greshiam but the Bengals have no defense to speak of and little depth.

(Side Note: how does Marvin Lewis still have a job? the Bengals have perennially underachieved under him and have had a string of poor behavior from their players. Yet he’s still there without an inkling of heat underneath his seat. Maybe Mike Brown is cheap but he can’t be stupid. If Lewis doesn’t get it done this year or next he’s got to go… right?)

Jacksonville Jaguars: you get on this list for firing your QB 5 days before the opener. That and having no real receivers to speak of after Mike Sims-Walker left for St. Louis and very little on defense. Hi Jack Del Rio, welcome to the hot seat.

Buffalo Bills: name me three Buffalo Bills… don’t worry I’ll wait.

DEAD IN THE WATER

Miami Dolphins: Reggie Bush looks like a new man, Cameron Wake is a top 10 defensive end in the league and the tandem of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith are one of the best in the league at defensive back. So why are they on this list? Chad Henne is their starting QB… no need to elaborate, let’s move on.

Tennessee Titans: Matt Hasselback is a good replacement until Jake Locker is ready to take the reins and Chris Johnson is in the fold again after signing a huge extension. Yet in a division with the Colts and Texans who made strides to get better in terms of depth , the Titans have a ways to go to catch up.

TRENDING UP

Denver Broncos: I have and always will like Kyle Orton. He is a capable starting QB with enough sense to lead a team to the playoffs. John Fox has made a lot of smart decision this offseason when it came to figuring out a better defensive scheme to make that poor unit better but his best decision was make Orton the starter. Tim Tebow as much as the fans love him is nowhere near ready to be on the field as an NFL starter. Hell Brady Quinn looked better than him this preseason… BRADY QUINN! As much as the fans were calling for Tebow and that John Elway loves him they all need to wake the heck up. Tebow Is not a starting QB in the NFL right now, if you start him you hurt your teams chances at making the playoffs and the Broncos can become a player if their defense holds up.

This is not how the Colts envisioned seeing Peyton Manning.

Oakland Raiders: Yep you’re reading that right. Even with the loss of Asomuha on defense the Raiders have more than enough up front to be scary led by Richard Seymour. My biggest concern with them is if they can score enough points. They have a ton of speed with Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Darren McFadden but can it be utilized by any of their QB’s?

Cleveland Browns: they’re not ready to compete this year, but I have a feeling that Colt McCoy and Joe Haden will give teams fits on both ends of the ball. I know Cleveland is wary about expectations but 9-7 isn’t crazy to me.

THEY CAN GO EITHER WAY

Indianapolis Colts: this isn’t just because Peyton Manning will miss the time due to his neck injury it’s because I don’t trust their wide receivers to stay healthy, their secondary to be effective and their front 7 to be consistent. However, if Manning does come back slinging it like he does then none of this will matter.

Kansas City Chiefs: this team would be a contender if someone other than Matt Cassel was their QB. He’s not bad by any means but I think he inhibits them offensively. As for the defense… hey Glenn Dorsey… DO SOMETHING!!!

San Diego Chargers: they’re in good hands with Philip Rivers but consistency on offense worries me. Also can Shaun Phillips make enough plays on defense to make them forget about Shawne Merriman?

EITHER GET IT DONE OR BE DONE

Houston Texans: If they don’t breakthrough this year then it’ll never happen. Peyton’s injured, the Titans and Jags are rebuilding and the Texans stand on the cusp of a divisional title if they can actually man up in big games (hi, Matt Schaub). With Wade Phillips running the defense they should improve and actually be marginally good against the pass. But it really it comes down to this; we’ve been saying now for the last two seasons that this is the year for the Texans… I’m not saying it. Either get it done or start over.

THE ONLY FOUR THAT MATTER

Baltimore Ravens: the only thing that worries me about them is Joe Flacco. After last postseason in Pittsburgh Flacco looks frightened of the moment to me and that could be an issue going down the stretch. Does he have the fortitude to lead the Ravens in late game situations or is he just an average QB? This year we’ll find out.

New York jets: no excuse not to make it all the way this year. they have the experience, the players and the coaching, now they’ve got to get over the hump.

Pittsburgh Steelers: so, you think Dan Rooney is happy that this offseason is over? James Harrison, Hines Ward and Rashard Mendenhall gave him heartburn with their off the field issues and left a stain on the Steeler logo. Well now that it’s over and football is all that matters the focus is there and Mike Tomlin won’t let it slip. The league’s best defense can lead the Steelers back to the promise land and make everyone forget about a forgettable offseason.

New England Patriots: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick after a postseason loss to a divisional rival and all offseason to think about it? yeah, get scared.

NFC

CHANGE THE CHANNEL

Washington Redskins: their starter is Rex Grossman, they have no one to run the ball, and they have no real secondary… Washington is counting the days until the Capitals are back.

Good luck with this Washington.

San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith is still their QB…

THERE’S A CHANCE BUT NOT A GOOD ONE

New York Giants: no depth, no chance. Also… STOP TURNING THE DAMN BALL OVER ALL OF YOU!!!!!!

Carolina Panthers: very young, very raw, but very talented. Give them time to gel and check back next year or the year after.

Minnesota Vikings: Donovan McNabb’s number one receiver is Percy Harvin, Jared Allen is coming off of a poor season and needs a bounce back badly. Sounds like it’ll be a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson this year.

UMMM… I COULDN’T EVEN TELL YOU

Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo is in a make or break year for his career. If he can’t get to the playoffs this year and go deep then the Cowboys will look for a new QB to lead the team in 2012. The problem is does he have everything he needs to succeed around him. who’s the team’s number one running back? Can Dez Bryant step his game up and compliment Miles Austin on the outside? Can their secondary stop anybody? Will Jason Garrett strangle Mike Jenkins by year’s end? I would hate to be in Romo’s position right now.

Arizona Cardinals: Now we get to see what the big deal is with Kevin Kolb. If he’s all that he’s cracked up to be then the Cardinals will contend. If not then Ken Whisenhunt will be feeling a little fire under his seat.

Seattle Seahawks: all of these offseason moves to improve your offense and the best you can do at QB is Tavaris Jackson? Maybe they should’ve resigned Hasselback.

YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID… VERY AFRAID

Detroit Lions: if Matt Stafford can stay healthy… IF… then look out. This is everyone’s chic pick to be the breakout team in the NFL and it’s not hard to see why. The main reason is Ndamukong Suh who is becoming the best defensive player in the NFL leading a defensive line that once it gets Nick Fairley back will be one of the best in the game. However, it comes back to Stafford. He has shown in limited action that he can be a really good QB and can put lots of points on the board with Calvin Johnson. His health decides their season; if he’s healthy then they’re in the playoffs, if not… wait until next year.

St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford almost lead them to the playoffs throwing to Danny Amendola… the defense has been together for a solid three years under Steve Spagnuolo’s complicated scheme and is getting it down to a science… the other three teams in the division are trying to figure themselves out in all areas while the Rams are set in there’s… if they don’t win the NFC West then it’ll be a huge disappointment.

It's now or never for Houston.

(Side note 2: remember the 2009 NFL Draft where Aaron Curry was the next great NFL linebacker, Brian Cushing was a stud, Rey Maualuga was a huge playmaker in the making and James Laurinaitis had concerns that he wasn’t fast enough to be an effective NFL linebacker? Guess who has become the best young middle linebacker in the league? Yep the slow kid from Ohio State who won two Butkis Awards in college. You know I wonder if scouts actually watch college games sometimes.)

THE ENIGMA

Chicago Bears: Is the defense set? Yes. Is Jay Cutler mentally ready to lead this team after the controversy from the NFC title game? I don’t know. Cutler has always been mercurial and hasn’t seemed like the greatest leader in the world but it’ll tested more than ever this year. he has to have a strong year under center and make very few mistakes and do so without a clear cut number one receiver, no respectable tight end and an agitated Matt Forte. If he can keep it all in line then the memory of him on the sidelines while his team struggles for yardage in the biggest game of the year will be a memory.

THE FIGHT TO THE DEATH FOR THE PLAYOFFS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman, Josh Freeman, Josh Freeman… oh and LeGarrette Blount, Mike Williams and a revamped defense looking to bring back the Warren Sapp days. Their out to prove that last year was not a fluke… and they will.

New Orleans Saints: they couldn’t get over the Super Bowl hangover until it was too late. Plus the fact that they lost to 7-9 Seattle in the playoffs still hurts. Expect them to come out lighting it up from day one with nothing but a Super Bowl on their minds.

Atlanta Falcons: Hi Matt Ryan, welcome to Alex Ovechkin’s world. You play for one of the best teams in the league and you have matched all of your hype except in one area… you can’t get it done in the playoffs. You’ve been twice and gotten beaten up both times. Last year you ran into a smoldering hot Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay and you couldn’t keep up with them. Well guess what Matty Ice, now you have an issue. You’re in your 4th year in the league and are considered an elite QB, so guess what were all expecting you to do now? that’s right, win when it matters. You can win all of the regular season games that you want but if you can’t win the close ones or get to the playoffs and win there then we don’t care. Your mission is to win the NFC South and make a Super Bowl run and nothing less. If you can’t do that then you’ll be sitting next to Ovechkin having a beer and wondering what more do you have to do to make your team elite.

THE CHAMP

Green Bay Packers: Clay Matthews had 17 sacks last year, mostly on a broken leg… he’s healthy now… every QB in the league just got scared.

THE MIAMI HEAT

Philadelphia Eagles: Vince Young said that they were a super team and with the moves that they made how can you deny that claim? Young, Cromartie, Asomugha, Babin, Brown, Steve Smith and a cast of thousands joined the Eagles within the span of two weeks and expectations catapulted the Eagles to the top of the NFC class. Paper does not make a champion, but it does create some fun banter. Can this team finally gain short yardage with Brown and LeSean McCoy? Can the offensive line protect Michael Vick? With the new additions to the secondary will they be able to stop the pass? We won’t know until week 1 and even then we need more proof. The City of Philadelphia has been all about big name acquisitions this year with the Phillies getting Cliff Lee, the Flyers obtaining goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and now the Eagles with, well everyone. Can they make the title game? Sure. But they have to gel first and get all of their parts in order.

Yep we're still here.

Funny enough… I think that they will, but they won’t win. The Eagles vs. The Patriots sounds like a great matchup for Super Bowl 46 and The Patriots sound like a good winner. The Patriots have lost their swagger from previous years and it shows in their games versus the Jets, Steelers and other in previous years. They are still one of the top teams in the league but they needed to get kicked in the rear to get it together. The Jets provided them with that spark last year and it will carry over into this one.

Well I hope the Patriots enjoy their title run, the Jets enjoy contending, the Eagles enjoy the hype and the Packers enjoy their title defense. I won’t enjoy any of it thanks to the gloomy outlook that the Giants are facing this year. Oh well, it could be worse, I could pick the Bengals to win it all again.

AFC EAST- PATRIOTS

AFC NORTH- STEELERS

AFC SOUTH- TEXANS

AFC WEST- CHARGERS

AFC WILDCARDS- JETS, RAVENS

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP- STEELERS VS. PATRIOTS

NFC EAST- EAGLES

NFC NORTH- PACKERS

NFC SOUTH- SAINTS

NFC WEST- RAMS

NFC WILDCARDS- FALCONS, BUCS

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP- EAGLES VS. PACKERS

SUPER BOWL- PATRIOTS VS. EAGLES

MVP- DREW BREES

DPOY- NDAMUKONG SUH

OPOY- BREES

COACH OF THE YEAR- RAHEEM MORRIS

OROY- MARK INGRAM

DROY- PATRICK PETERSON


Aaron Rodgers Stands Alone

For Aaron Rodgers, this was worth the wait.

Aaron Rodgers stood on a stage on the 50 yard line with confetti falling all around him like the snowflakes that littered the Dallas area the previous week.

He held the Vince Lombardi trophy in one hand and linebacker Clay Matthews rested a WWE Championship belt across his shoulder.

His smile was as wide as that gigantic HD TV that spans from one 20 yard line to another in Cowboys Stadium as he banged his chest and saluted the Packers faithful.

The moment was his, years and a ton of baggage in the making.

Ever since his senior high school year when Rodgers was offered not one scholarship he has had to prove his worth and has never complained. Not when Cal was passed up for Texas in the Rose Bowl, not when he had to wait in a green room for four and a half hours in the 2005 NFL Draft and saw Alex Smith, Matt Jones and Troy Williamson picked ahead of him, and not when he had to endure three seasons of the Brett Favre saga while he sat behind him ready for action.

If it wasn’t waiting it was the criticism of his game.

Some viewed him as cocky, some said his arm wasn’t strong enough to make him an NFL quarterback, some said he would wilt under the pressure of the legacy that Favre left behind. GM Ted Thompson knew better.

Thompson knew what he had in Rodgers ever since that long day in New York 6 years ago when he fell from a possible #1 to the 23rd player selected in the draft.

Ted Thompson ended Rodgers' draft day horrors and knew he could be the man in Green Bay.

He knew Rodgers m.o., that he was a hard worker, that he wanted to improve his game and did what it took to do it.

No school wanted him, he went to Butte Community College. Jeff Tedford found him and put him in his system than helped make Akili Smith and Joey Harrington NFL Draft pick and Rodgers excelled. Fast forward to the draft and while San Fran felt Alex Smith was a better fit (oops) Thompson knew better.

He scooped up Rodgers and picked him to succeed Favre much to his, and critics, disliking. Rodgers developed so well that after the 2008 NFC Championship game the Packers didn’t want to go through another Favre episode and pushed ahead with Rodgers. Even when Favre changed his mind the message was clear, Aaron Rodgers is our guy.

Thompson looks like a genius.

After an up and down first year Rodgers excelled in his second year and took the Packers to the playoffs behind a monster year where he became the game’s best passer when it comes to the deep ball (so much for him having a weak arm). However, after losing to the Arizona Cardinals new questions carried into this season as to whether or not he was capable of coming through in the clutch. Was he the kind of guy who could lead Green Bay to the top of the division and into the playoffs. All he did was answer the bell every single this year and in the process put himself into the same class of quarterback as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

Whenever the injuries mounted and key players like Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and others went down, Rodgers kept the troops moving. Even after suffering two concussions that knocked him out of a Sunday night match against New England Rodgers returned with a vengeance and led a masterful run to playoffs that saw Rodgers destroy defences like the Giants and Falcons and amaze everyone with his strong arm and fancy feet.

Not only did he win big games, he was dominant. Three scores versus the Eagles. A 31-36, 366 yard performance versus Atlanta that left us shaking our heads and dropping our jaws. In a dog fight against the Bears he wasn’t his best, but he steadied his offense against a very good defense and put the Packers in the the Super Bowl.

All he did there was turn the Steel Curtain into a pair of cotton drapes.

Rodgers has separated himself from Brett Favre for good.

Rodgers executed Mike McCarthy’s pass heavy game game plan to perfection as he caught the Steelers secondary out of position and never let their pass rushers become effective. His quick release and timing with his receivers made life hell for Troy Polamalu and James Harrison and they never were a factor.

Rodgers never lost his poise even when Donald Driver was lost to injury and his receivers let him down with more than a handful of drops (hi Jordy Nelson). He continued to stick with them and Nelson and others atoned for their sins. When Ben Roethlisberger’s final pass fell incomplete, Rodgers leapt in the air in jubilation and took the final snap to seal his victory.

He no longer had to prove anything to anyone or wait his turn, this is his time and his legacy that was being built.

This was the moment he and Thompson had envisioned and had come to pass. At 27, Rodgers has equaled his predecessor (favre) in titles and vanquished the bitterness he left in his departure. Though he claims there was no bitterness to be had trust me that Rodgers is happy that he never has to hear about Brett Favre again in regards to his name.
Favre is long gone, this is Rodgers team now. There are more 12’s than 4’s in the stands. There is no talk of the old man with young man’s enthusiasm or the old gunslinger, instead there is the precision passer with a cannon for an arm and an infectious swagger that can’t be knocked.

Aaron Rodgers rough road and triumph is reason for any player to smile. He has overcome doubts in his game and a legend that wouldn’t die to become a champion. He never once complained, showed anger, or frustration. He was patient and when the time came he let his game do the talking.

For Rodgers, patience has most certainly been a virtue. He’ got the hardware to prove it.


The Jets Can Keep On Talking

The Jets talked all week. Sunday they proved it wasn't just all talk.

Talk is cheap… unless you can actually back it up. To say that The Jets backed it up would be selling them short. They put their collective foot in the New England Patriots… um… you know.

 

The Jets 28-21 win wasn’t just a statement game that may turn the tide in the AFC East over the next year; it may have knocked the swagger out of the Patriots for some time to come.

 

Say what you will about Rex Ryan, he’s loud, begs for attention and sometimes crosses the line with his tactics. However, he’s not the type of guy that bails out on a plan when it’s not working well.

 

After the 45-3 beat down in Foxboro two months ago Ryan could’ve, and should’ve, kept his yap shut and stopped throwing rocks at everyone’s throne. Yet here was Ryan talking about how “personal” it was between him and Peyton Manning and Bill Belichick. Encouraging Antonio Cromartie to draw the ire of Tom Brady by calling him an @$$#ole and saying “F*** Tom Brady”. He even continued his talk about how the Jets are still Super Bowl contenders. Meanwhile everyone from sports radio broadcasters to anchors called him crazy. Now what do we call him?

 

Ryan, dare I say it, outcoached “The Hoodie” and turned the tide in the rematch of the Monday Night Massacre.

 

The Jets were able to do the one main thing it takes to win a football game; they controlled the line of scrimmage. On offense the Jets ran the ball much better than the Pats and the offensive line kept Mark Sanchez off of his rear end all day long as the Pats couldn’t produce any pressure and Sanchez was able to step into his throws. On defense Shaun Ellis and company sacked Tom Brady five times and the Pats never got into any rhythm until late in the game when the Jets were in control. Ryan rarely called blitzes instead allowing his down linemen to get pressure on Brady and it worked perfectly.

 

Brady couldn’t make the proper adjustments and it showed, as he couldn’t get the ball downfield at all as Jets defenders blanketed his receivers. The Pats were given a taste of their own medicine as the Jets played a more physical brand of football and left the Patriots shaking their heads.

 

The MVP though was Sanchez. The much-maligned QB shook off a shaky performance against the Indianapolis Colts and looked like the highly touted kid from USC that was so hyped upon his NFL arrival.

 

Sanchez threw three scores including two beauties to Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. He sailed a few balls but for the most part he was on point and did the things that the Jets offense needed to win the game.  Rex Ryan deserves credit for that as well by simplifying the offense, which allowed Sanchez to make the proper plays.

Mark Sanchez is now 4-1 in the playoffs, all on the road.

 

As much as critics like to get on Sanchez for his spotty accuracy in key moments, the guy is 4-1 in the playoffs, all on the road and in tough places to play like Indy, New England and San Diego. That’s impressive no matter who you are and he deserves a lot of credit for guiding the Jets to those victories.

 

As for the Patriots the question is now what? The Pats were a juggernaut rolling into this week, bringing up memories of their near perfect season during that stretch. Yet they never resembled that team today as the Jets beat them at every angle and though they outgained them it wasn’t indicative of how the game was played.

 

Belichick’s defense needs to improve in two ways, pass coverage and pass rush. They couldn’t touch Sanchez because they don’t have the guys to get it done besides Vince Wilfork and he’s more of a run stopper. The secondary need more depth because besides Brandon Merriweather and Devin McCourtey there’s not much there as the Jets proved.

 

There’s also the fact that maybe no one truly is afraid of the Patriots. Think about the last two times the Pats got called out in the media. The first was Super Bowl 42 when Plaxico Burress guaranteed a victory and this past week when every Jet except Ken O’Brien called them out. What happened? They got beat up.

 

The luster from those three championships has all but faded. They’re no longer the front-runners in the NFL and it’s starting to show. When someone trash talks you all week then comes into your house and beats you down there is a problem. Maybe the Belichick way isn’t working anymore, maybe they need a new approach. Whatever it is they need to figure it out quick because they’re losing ground by the minute.

 

Maybe they should try the Rex Ryan way because it looks like it works. Will things be personal when the Jets go to Pittsburgh next week (maybe for Holmes.)? Will Darrelle Revis call out Ben Roethlisberger? If they do, we shouldn’t stress about it, that’s who the Jets are. The Jets talk win, lose or draw. After today in Foxboro we also know they can back it up in impressive fashion.

 

Wes Welker tried the passive-aggressive Ryan way this week with his foot comments. Maybe Welker can help remove the Jets foot from the Pats backend. Learn from Ryan Wes, if you’re going to talk, make sure we can hear you. Also make sure you can back it up, that’s the Rex Ryan way.

 


NFL Trending Topics

Surprised the Giants are struggling in the second half? Don't be.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good trend?

I mean we as a society thrive on finding and wearing out trends. From fashion to music to movies, trends are what intrigue us, befuddle us and make us shake our heads.

The NFL is no different.

Trends in the NFL make us laugh and cry, heck even a little bit of both. After this weekend you saw some of the most entertaining, if not confusing,  trends emerge once again.

Trend 1: The New York Giants are a poor second half team.

It’s always funny when every year the Giants get off to great starts and all of my friends and outsiders say the exact same thing, “Boy those Giants look real good. They might be the beat team in the league.” See, I know better.

I know that the proper way to gauge the New York Giants is after week 9. Once the second half hits then you can tell me how great the Giants are… which never happens because the Giants are as good a second half team as the Miami Heat are a complete team.

Under Tom Coughlin the Giants are 18 games over .500 in the first half of their season and 10 games under in the second half. Last year they went 2-6, in 08 they were 4-4, the year before 1-7. For some reason the Giants start hibernating once November rolls around and it’s been going on four six years. If you watched the last two games there’s no reason to think that it won’t continue.

After an atrocious game against Dallas, the Giants played the sloppiest football I’ve seen in a long time (and yes I factored in the Kerry Collins and Tiki Barber years). The five turnovers against the Eagles prevented them from winning a game that their defense kept them in for the most part.

You would think that with his team leading the league in turnovers that Tom Coughlin would make his team run laps or fine them OR SOMETHING!! Then again it is the second half and maybe he’s encouraging the Giants sloppy play to make me look like a genius in this post.

Thanks Tom. P.S. Your grace period from winning the Super Bowl is up. Go fix the turnover problem and your second half record or get gone.

Trend no. 2: The San Diego Chargers always finish strong no matter how poor they start.

Just when Chargers fans thought that this might finally be the demise of Norv Turner they forgot that his team for some reason can’t lose in the last six weeks of the season. Even with guys named Seyi Ajirotutu as their number one receiver and a fullback named Mike Tolbert as their most effective running back.

Philip Rivers is leading another second half push by the Chargers.

It frustrates you an fascinates as well that a team has so much talent and starts so poorly every year then some how just goes bonkers once their staring at their playoff doom.

Where were games like Monday nights thrashing of the Denver Broncos against the Oakland Raiders? Where was Philip Rivers precision and poise versus Seattle earlier in the year? Why do they only play with a purpose with their backs against the wall?

Who knows. What we do know is that Kansas City’s hold of the AFC West is on dialysis with the Chargers surging.

(side note: there’s been talk about Rivers for MVP because of his Madden-like stats. While some say Peyton Mannin has done better with less I beg to differ. Rivers has always had less talent on the outside as compared to Manning. Manning has had Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark in his arsenal while you could say the Rivers only viable weapon has been Antonio Gates. Rivers made Vincent Jackson a number one receiver when no one heard of him and has made Malcolm Floyd a valuable two and works Tolbert and Seyi into the fold very well. I would say if you’re voting right now for MVP I would place Rivers ahead of Manning for those reasons and because his team is surging whole the Colts are fading. There I just gave Phil some love. Now watch him scream at his linemen, act immature and curse out the opposing QB next week. Gotta love it.)

Trend no. 3: The battle for Tennessee starring Vince Young and Jeff Fisher.

Before we begin… WHY THE HELL DOES JEFF FISHER LOVE KERRY COLLINS?!?!?! THE GUY IS A MEDIOCRE QUARTERBACK THAT KILLED THE GIANTS IN SUPER BOWL 35!!!! HE’S TURNOVER PRONE AND CAN’T BE TRUSTED LATE IN GAMES AT ALL!!!

Who wrote that last paragraph, a. me or b. Vince Young? I wouldn’t be shocked if Vince thought it at one point.

This is the longest running drama in the NFL. Fisher never wanted Young, owner Bud Adams loves him, Young can’t ever grow up but wins games, Kerry Collins always finds his way back into Fisher’s life, and Chris Johnson is the misused kid stuck in his parents bad relationship… ok I made that part up… maybe.

The fact that Sunday’s occurrence took place is shocking and upsetting. For Young I don’t care how much Fisher ticks you off you cannot throw tour pads in a crowd, curse out your coach and storm off without speaking to reporters. Vince’s public showings of immaturity have been one too many and this latest one should have him walking the plank seeing as how his contract is up at seasons end. He’s had far too many chances to be continuously screwing up on or off the field.

Meanwhile how much longer can Fisher stay employed with his constant lack of trust in Young which belittles not only the quarterback but team chemistry. Young is 30-17 as a starter and saved Fisher’s job last season after an abysmal start to the season. If you need anymore reason to keep Young in as your QB then I can’t help you.

Fisher never talked to Young about the injury at all even though we saw Young trying out a glove so he could get back in the game Fisher inserted rookie Rusty Smith at QB Young’s day was done. With Young’s season also over and the Titans season fading at 5-5 this might be the complete end of the saga with Young gone as well as Fisher.

(side note 2: do you think Randy Moss wishes he kept his mouth shut in New England? He went from a stable situation in Boston to dysfunction in Minnesota and Tennessee. He could be on an 8-2 team vying to get back to the Super Bowl instead of twirling in the wind in Nashville. Oh wait thats trend number 4, Randy Moss ruining what’s been good for Randy Moss. Fail.)

Trend no. 5: Tom Brady owning Peyton Manning.

NFL.com had it’s top 100 players of all time released a while ago, Peyton Manning was ranked 8th while Brady was 21st… um… huh?

Tom Brady has more rings than Manning (3-1) and owns their rivalry 6-3. Brady and the Pats dominance of Manning and the Colts spawned a dynasty and made Brady the QB of the 2000’s. Take yesterday for example.

Brady played mistake free football incorporating Deion Branch back into the pass game like he never left, mixed the run with the pass and didn’t give his defense a reason to press.

Manning on the other hand through three horrible picks including one to end the game when the Colts were in field goal range to send the game into OT. He put his defense behind the 8-ball early, didn’t hand off to Donald Brown, who at time shredded the Pats D and didn’t make smart throws.

It showed the disparity on both quarterbacks and teams as Brady should now be considered the favorite for MVP and the Pats as Super Bowl favorites while the Colts will most certainly have issues holding off a suddenly hot Jacksonville team.

However none of this should shock you, it’s been happening for years. These trends have been tested and proven to be true. It’s easy as 1-2-3. Or easy as knowing the Jets love playing close games against teams they should destroy.